I am NOT a Stick Rubbing Expert!!!

I am NOT a Stick Rubbing Expert!!!

As this is a hobby and not a business I can only comment on which stoves I’ve used and the reasons I have continued to use them. I’m not a gear reviewer for a company or magazine so I won’t be able to answer queries on loads of stuff but I will pass on my experiences as best I can!  I can categorically add that rubbing 2 sticks together is not my thing!

Jetboils! Not everyone’s choice but I love mine. Its fast and efficient and easy to clean…providing you’re a girl and you can cook!
I have taught myself how to use my Jetboil to its maximum potential. There can be more to just lighting it and that’s it – unless you only use it for brewing up!
I’ve tried many stoves over the years and I have some real favourites-The MSR Whisperlite served me well for years but I hated the sooty residue as it got everywhere! And yes, only use ‘white’ fuel is the answer but that’s not always possible!
I started using Jetboils several years ago and have had real success with them. Before the plastic stabilisers came out they were a little unstable so stacking rocks around them always made sense – unless you fancied picking your pasta out of the grass! It’s happened to me many a time!!! I always wondered as I chomped away how many sheep had wee’d on that exact spot….

Hellvelyn in the early days! No stabiliser! Pink Spork and heavy mug!
Hellvelyn in the early days! No stabiliser! Pink Spork and heavy mug!

Many people have commented on the pan size being too tall and narrow.. I’ve always managed to get boil in the bag food in them. A lot of learning to how use your Jetboil for cooking is about how much water you put in them – this is a real art! (The Jetboil is changing shape soon though and this will be available:

http://www.jetboil.com/Products/MiniMo-Cooking-System-Carbon-with-Line-Art/

Looking forward to getting one!

Wayfarer warming nicely!
Wayfarer warming nicely!

Last year I started using ‘Look What We Found’ meals in a pouch. Now, they don’t mention anywhere that you can boil these in the bag but I’ve ever had an issue doing this. They are little heavier but they make for a really nice meal after a long walk in to a camp or bivvy.. I also take half a pouch of Uncle Bens microwaveable rice in a freezer bag. Tear the top off the LWWF meal and top the rice on it with a little water then put in the Jetboil with about 2 cm of water. You need to keep stirred to ensure it heats through but it gets warm fairly quick. Bingo – Staffordshire Chicken Tikka and rice up a Mountain and no mess to clean up!

http://www.lookwhatwefound.co.uk/

MMMM! Love this stuff!
MMMM! Love this stuff!
Same food different summit!
Same food different summit!

It is an art though! If you add too much water it will spit water everywhere and it’s a real challenge getting to the heat adjuster to turn the power down without getting 2nd degree burns…and I can sense people thinking – just keep it on low. Yes you have a point….but, it is usually draughty in the tent but especially if you’re bivvying! So, despite them being fairly controllable they are not easy to keep lit on very low power as they can blow out, having said that it’s the same with most stoves.

Exposure to the elements makes it difficult to keep the stove going!
Exposure to the elements makes it difficult to keep the stove going!
Camp kitchen on Moel Hebog.
Camp kitchen on Moel Hebog.

Using a wind shield is an option but you must be super careful with windshields and Jetboils. Because they generate a lot of heat in a small area if you wrap a windshield too closely to them it can melt the nylon around the burner…Not great! If you use one don’t have it too close to the stove.
I have an old Coleman crappy thing I bought for £12.00 as I had forgotten my stove on a trip to Wales one time! Its heavy and the power output is pretty low but it cooks stuff and boils water.. I still use it for car camping when I go.
I have had experiences with all kind of stoves from MSR Pocket rockets to Primus ETA. It’s all about what you can afford and what you like really. Everyone will have a favourite.
Things to remember!
Carbon Monoxide:
This killer occurs generally when campers cook inside tents, or leaving a gas burner on inside the tent for heat. Carbon monoxide is undetectable by smell or taste; which is why many may incorrectly think that they are safe to do this. If you inhale enough Carbon Monoxide the outcome can be fatal. In smaller doses, carbon monoxide can cause symptoms similar to flu or food poisoning. Symptoms to look out for look out for include: dizziness, headache, nausea and drowsiness.
Fuel Availability:
If you’re heading abroad can I get the gas or fuel I need or the thread fitting for the cartricge for my stove! Always check first. If you’re heading into the back of beyond abroad then you may onlt be able to buy ‘dirty’ fuel like diesel or heating fuels like kerosene/paraffin. Check out MSR multi fuel stoves as there are stoves that burn all these.
Trangias are good if you like the good old meths method. It’s slow but efficient.
Stability:
http://www.jetboil.com/Accessories/Fuel-Can-Stabilizer/
Buy this for your gas canisters! It doesn’t matter which stove you use, if your gas canister tips your stove will flare and shoot flames everywhere! Possibly setting fire to your tent, you or your kit..or all three. It’s a fiver, get it! 

Gas and Fuel:

Ensure if you go in winter you use a ‘4 season’ gas mix as it is less efficient in cold weather! Never put Methylated spirits into a metal fuel bottle as it corrodes it from the inside and will seep fuel everywhere! Take care to keep your fammables out of the heat of the sun. I keep my gas under the tent grundsheet in summer if I am leaving it for a few hours or hide them aways from the tent somewhere shaded.

And lastly! What I eat with! This is important stuff. If you eat from a pouch you need a long spoon so as not to get covered in food or burn your fingers! I use a Sea to Summit Alphalite aircraft alloy spoon. Its a great bit of kit. Lightweight and super tough! There are also cutlery sets or singles if you don’t bother with pouch food,

Link:

http://www.theepicentre.co.uk/equipment-c119/cookwear-c186/sea-to-summit-alphalite-long-handled-spoon-p5646?attribute%5B1%5D=981

And I eat and drink out of Sea to Summit Silicone Mug and plate! Collapsible and tough. Easy to clean and light. There are also plates etc. They come is few colours so you can keep them seperate from your mates stuff!

Links:

http://www.theepicentre.co.uk/equipment-c119/cookwear-c186/sea-to-summit-x-bowl-p5648?attribute%5B1%5D=95

http://www.theepicentre.co.uk/equipment-c119/cookwear-c186/sea-to-summit-x-mug-p5650?attribute%5B1%5D=95

Last but not least water and wine! Platypus do make a wine carrier! See link below.

I also use Source Hydration products for carrying water but will cover this in futher detail at another time!

Links:

http://www.theepicentre.co.uk/search/source

http://www.cascadedesigns.com/platypus/wine-preservation/platypreserve/product

Other foods!

I have used Wayfarer products and though a little pricy they are really tasty and easy to heat. If you are only going for one night you may as well have a nice meal at the end of it!

Pasta is also a favourite though a little messier to produce! I have use the filled fresh pasta a lot with the mini ‘Dolmio Bolognase for One’ pouches – these will boil on the bag!

Happy feeding!

A typical kitchen on the summits.
A typical kitchen on the summits.
The locals after my dinner on Glyder Fawr!
The locals after my dinner on Glyder Fawr!
G and T anyone!
G and T anyone!
Wine 'O' Clock! Hard earned of course!!!
Wine ‘O’ Clock! Hard earned of course!!!

13 thoughts on “I am NOT a Stick Rubbing Expert!!!

  1. I am taking up camping again as I am now free,my daughter has left home.The downside is I am nearly 60 I cannot be wreckless with my body anymore and have to try and build in a bit of comfort in as well as having to carry it on my back.. I notice you have a sort of mattress thing under your sleeping bag. What can be bought to cushion you from sleeping on the ground ? and what are the most comfortable for the weight ?

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  2. I’ve given up on gas stoves unless I’m car camping. I use Hexi quite a bit and for a meths stove I use the Caldera Cone with a Zelph Starlyte burner. Unspillable, reliable and you don’t have to carry a bottle of meths either. The burner is sealable. http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/starlyte-burner-with-lid.php

    I agree with you about cooking in a tent-dangerous. Once saw a tent catch fire and it’s frightening how quickly it burns down. So I never cook inside a tent. A few years back, trekmates sent me a sample of their flameless cooker and flask to review. Good kit although expensive to run and fairly heavy but they work really well and don’t emit flames or CO2. As a bonus, after cooking, the heatpacks can be used to warm the sleeping bag.

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  3. Great blog. I use or have used most of what you cover in your post – including the LWWF foil meals. The only one, so far, that didn’t work too well were meatballs – didn’t cook through- probably me in a rush to get them down my neck. I have never tried a Jetboil. Eddy (who you know) swears by them, I think he has the SOL. I mostly use Speedster burners if I am just boiling water to pour into a collapsible S2S mug or into a foil meal which I then allow to cook further in a Cosy box. May see you on the fells sometime.

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    1. Ha ha. I found the same with the meat balls. I like the Chilli and the currys! Eddy has the SolTi because he’s posh! I have the Sol. 😉 hoping to get out tomorrow night as there is a break in the weather. 😊

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      1. Working tomorrow in Borrowdale, then driving straight from work to Eskdale/Seathwaite to camp in the Dutton Valley. Monday, walking back round the base of Scar to Waswater to camp somewhere in the evening. Re tracing to car and home on Monday. And, you’re NOT boring, you’re an inspiration! What an a–hole! Chilli is the mutts!

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  4. Being a kayaker, I am more concerned with size over weight and my Base Weight is abut 170#.
    I LOVE my Jetboil MiniMo and had it repaired when Shawna set it on fire.
    I bought the larger X-pit until a mouse chewed through the side then downsized to the 2.8l x-pot. When you buy the pot stand, you have everything you need to cook. Want a quick meal, boil water and add to a bag-meal.
    Want a real meal? I buy pasta meals In a bag (Knorr beef stroganoff), add home dehydrated veggies and beef and mushrooms, seal all in a vac-seal baggie and I can cook a real meal on the MiniMo either In the pot or x-pot.
    For breakfast, the Jetboil frypan reheats leftovers or makes a fried egg-on-English-muffin covered with gravy/mushrooms. And the S2S x-pot nests inside the frypan to save space.

    Yes, I can go only with the MiniMo but really, let us be civilized and drink out merlot (stored in a Platypus wine bota) in a stemless lexan wine glass while reading from my B&N Nook e-reader while munching on some Godiva chocolate until bedtime.

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